NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures fell on Thursday for a seventh day in a row, extending two-month lows below $70 before ending above that level in see-saw trading, as ample fuel supplies stoked worries about demand.
In the previous session, oil futures fell sharply as heating oil and gasoline futures slumped after the government reported fuel stocks rose last week. [EIA/S]
The latest losing streak, which matches a seven-day decline in 2006 and is the longest since an eight-day slump in October, 2003, "shows conclusively the sentiment pendulum swinging more towards pessimism about a potential (economic) recovery," said Mike Fitzpatrick, vice president at MF Global in New York.
"NYMEX crude futures have fallen in recent days without much help from the dollar or equity markets and the disconnect with the financial markets highlights the continuing bearish fundamentals in the energy markets," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates in Galena, Illinois.
Prices fell despite some upbeat economic data.
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week, but continuing jobless claims fell. [ID:nN10156007]
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in October as the weak U.S. dollar helped boost exports and demand for imported oil fell to its lowest daily level since January 2000, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. [ID:nN09169993]
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed crude supplies fell more than expected, but remained well above the year-ago level. [EIA/S]
In late trading, the U.S. dollar was unchanged against the euro [USD/] and Wall Street rose, with traders citing support from the U.S. trade data. [.N]
* On the New York Mercantile Exchange, January crudesettled down 13 cents, or 0.18 percent, at $70.54 a barrel, after moving from $69.81, lowest since the $69.17 low on Oct. 8, to $71.39.
* In the latest losing streak, front-month NYMEX crude fell $7.83, or 10 percent, the biggest loss for front-month crude since the $11.65, or 16.3 pct loss in a six-day losing streak from June 30, to July 9.
* In London, January Brent crudesettled down 53 cents, or 0.73 percent, at $71.86 a barrel, trading from $71.15, lowest since Oct. 13's $70.84 low, to $73.26. The contract extended losses to a fifth day, during which it fell fell $6.50 or 8.3 pct.
* NYMEX January RBOBended down 2.22 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $1.8351 a gallon, down for the fifth day in a row, after trading from $1.240 to $1.8769. The day's low is the lowest since the Oct. 13 low of $1.8240. In five days the contrat fell 15.79 cents or 7.92 percent.
* NYMEX January heating oilended down 0.64 cent, or 0.34 percent, at $1.9029 a gallon, also down for a fifth consecutive day. It traded from $1.8871, lowest since the Nov. 17 low of $1.8703, to $1.9281. In five days, it fell 14.66 cents, or 7.2 pct.
* The January/January RBOB crack spread <0#RB-CL=R> ended at $6.53, down from $7.34 on Wednesday. The January/January heating oil crack spread <0#CL-HO=R> endedat $9.38, dropping from $9.52 on Wednesday.
* The spread between the current front month and the five-year forward crude contractended at $19.14, narrowing from $19.62 on Wednesday. The January 2015 contract settled Thursday at $89.68, down 61 cents, or 0.68 percent.
NYMEX crude 10-day/20-day moving average: $74.84/$76.25
NYMEX crude: $70.00/$72.95
NYMEX heating oil: $1.8380/$1.9790
NYMEX RBOB: $1.79/$1.9450
For a full report on technicals, click on [ID:nGEE5B91QN]
* Saudi Arabia is restoring full supplies to at least two Asian buyers in January and holding contracted volumes to seven others steady. Two European refineries and a global firm said supply would be steady. [ID:nTOE5B900Z]
* U.S. natural gas inventories fell last week for the first time this winter season, EIA data showed, with the draw coming about weeks behind schedule and well above industry expectations. [ID:nN10190152] (Reporting by Gene Ramos and Robert Gibbons; Editing by David Gregorio)
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